A Rabbit Hole of God’s Faithfulness – Lizzie Rios
I think one of the things I struggle with most sometimes is vulnerability. As a leader, that causes roadblocks in both my spiritual growth and my ability to guide my teams, so I’ll start this with the prayer that God grants me the ability to be vulnerable with you guys today.
I really love writing. I have this online journal I keep where I write bad poetry and letters to future Lizzie, but blogs feel like a whole new ballpark. It’s taken me quite a bit to figure out what I want to talk about here. Being a leader feels like you have to have all this super theological knowledge, and I make things way more intimidating than they need to be.
If I’m being honest, this past year has been trying. It’s had plenty of rad times, yes. I’m not saying it was awful, a LOT of good did happen. I met my sweet boyfriend, grew closer with my accountability ladies (honestly who doesn’t love Abby and Katie), got to lead a worship night for BCM with John and an awesome team, and was blessed with a new place to live. I got to spend a month back home with my family, where I got to be a comfort to my parents during one of the hardest times of their lives and a friend to my cousins who had just lost their aunt. This year was a year of healing.
Despite all of these amazing things, I felt something was missing. Somewhere along the way, I felt myself all of a sudden drifting away from God. It’s not like I did anything “wacko cracko” out there, but I did notice my mental health was plummeting. I found myself drowning in schoolwork, piles of laundry, and messed up eating schedules (my Christmas decorations weren’t even taken down until this week). I had no idea what was going on.
I don’t know if it was depression. I don’t know if I just have really bad anxiety or something, but I do know I was being put through a wringer. Truth is, I just didn’t want to talk about it.
Yesterday I was at church on Super Bowl Sunday. After quite some time of this weird numbness with God, I really got into what we were saying when we sang Graves Into Gardens, and the topic of God’s Faithfulness that Andrew spoke about blew my mind once again.
“You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can.”
– Graves Into Gardens, Elevation Worship
That’s powerful to say the least. I think mourning was a common theme seen in 2020. People mourned over loved ones, lost time, lost experiences, and in some cases lost relationships. Yesterday I was standing next to Zach, hand in hand worshipping God, and those words drove a knife into my heart. God’s ability to pick up broken people and completely turn their life around is something I have seen firsthand in people like my best friend, who continues to amaze me with her constant reliance on Christ. I love to talk about that, because she really is a completely transformed person now. And it doesn’t stop at salvation. He is constantly working to bring you back every time you walk away, even if it’s for a second.
In his sermon, Andrew mentioned that Paul calls the Corinthians saints despite their reputation of being “wicked” people. The Corinthians were people who had heard of and accepted the gift of Christ, but in their pride they made idols out of worldly things. Paul saw a need there, so he wrote to them. He calls them saints when they are the most broken because Jesus’ blood sanctifies all who call on Him, and nothing can separate you from that gift.
“Man’s empty praise
and treasures that fade
are never enough”
– Graves Into Gardens (again)
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
A bullet from that sermon was “God is faithful in your mess.” The parable of the Prodigal Son is such a goodie for this kind of thing. When the son returned from living in the pride of his wealth, his father met him with compassion and open arms, and threw the biggest party he could throw–for his son was HOME.
God, in all of his greatness and mega power, is joyous when we come home. “All my life He has been faithful” is absolutely correct, because it seems every time I see myself straying, He yanks me right back where I need to be.
Sitting in God’s faithfulness really takes discipline. We live in the here and now, and modern society as a whole has made us unbearably impatient folks (like having Amazon deliver a packet overnight of berries that can change your taste buds). I mean I get it, we want control and we want results. But I promise you, every trial you go through– every “what if” and moment of doubt– God is behind us. And for every rabbit hole you fall through there’s another for God’s faithfulness to bring you back home.
“No sin of ours has ever made God unfaithful.”
– Pastor Andrew (the man) Nelson
Love you guys. I’m here for you.